There are so many season previews out there right now and they all follow the same format. So at the Cutter we thought we’d try something a bit different and move away from the optimism and bias from fans answering on their own team and instead concentrate on the negativity and hatred that makes football what it is!
In the second of our series James Calderbank evaluates Arsenal. Although a lifelong Manchester City supporter he has been exiled in North London for over a decade. And the ‘class complex’ is beginning to irritate…
Which player do you reluctantly admire?
Lukas Podolski. 110 caps for Germany, 46 goals. What’s not to admire? Outside of Koln never really got it going at club level, but obviously has the talent. 11 goals in 33 games last season wasn’t a bad return especially as he seemed to be playing out of position for most of the season. Maybe Wenger should try him up front? Like where he has played for all of his career.
Which player do you out-and-out despise and why?
Jack Wilshere. Hated him since a Youth Cup game in 2009, when he was the best player on the pitch and Arsenal smashed City youth 4-1. Being the best player wasn’t enough, had to showboat and generally be a dick, strutting around the pitch getting involved in every incident. City’s players spent the last 10 mins trying to kick the s***e out of him. He hasn’t changed, still gets involved and plays “dirty”. He is a good player, but nowhere near as good as the adulation he gets. Guess that’s the nature of English football, play for 5 mins and all of a sudden you are the new *insert name of England legend here*
What’s the best-case (ie worst-case) outcome for them this season?
Arsenal fans don’t need to be too worried that all those around them from last season have improved, they instead should be looking over their shoulders to see that Southampton, Norwich, Villa, Swansea, Newcastle all look better this season than last whilst Arsenal haven’t done a jot. Could be a painful fight for that all important last Europa League spot.
How would you assess their transfer activity?
What transfer activity? Look at the positives though they are a season closer to paying off their debt on the stadium.
Beneath the bravado are there any lingering concerns?
In terms of challenging my team, none whatsoever. Teams have been threatening to bomb them out of the Champs League spots for a few seasons this could finally be the one they drop out.
Do they have the right (ie wrong) man in the hot-seat?
Not won a trophy since 2005 insistent on doing it his way. Of course he is the right man for the job. He was a forward thinker, had some great teams and brought through some great youth players. His problem is that everyone copied his (and Arsenal’s) methods with the youth and are now doing it better than him and he has been left behind. No longer looks like “Le Professeur” on the touchline, just an old man biding his time.
What would you personally sacrifice to see them relegated?
I’d be more than willing to personally sacrifice Jack Wilshere?! If that’s not allowed, I’d happily take a tatering by their youth team in the Capital One Cup in exchange for a season of struggle and heartbreak on the last day for The Gooners.